Britain had to fight to win democracy many crave

MY response to Brig Oubridge that Britain is a racist and xenophobic society is nonsense. I have asked my foreign friends and neighbours and not one of them recognises Brig’s England, all of them were shocked and upset that I could even think that they live and work in fear, they don’t!

My Romanian dentist has assured me she is staying and has no intention of leaving.  I believe Wiltshire remains a kind and decent place to live and work regardless of who you are.

 Judging by his comments, he has little knowledge of English and European history.

We fought a Civil War over the principal of “no taxation without representation” (as did the Americans).  Magna Carta established the concept of the rule of law; the bedrock of modern liberal democracy.  In the last century Britain had to fight two wars and at the end of the Second World War the unfolding horrors of Soviet and Nazi excesses lead Britain to set up the European Human Rights system.

Few European countries had any experience of democracy in 1945 and today many have only experienced it in the last 20 years or so.

The continental legacy was of right or left wing dictatorships, war, mass killings and Human Rights abuse.

The rights you feel have been taken are enshrined in our legal system; have been bitterly fought for at home and abroad over many years, that there are any human rights in Europe are due to Britain defending its principals and then passing them to Europeans.

The lack of accountability in the EU and the way in which unelected placemen dictate regardless of public opinion has been of real concern and it is this lack of accountability that I, and many others, reject the EU as it is and because of its refusal to change and moderate its imperial designs.

This behaviour has led to the rise of far the Right and Left across Europe; united in their distrust of the EU project and the effects.  We have made a decision but once again it is the wrong for some.  So the vote is to be ignored?

That isn’t democracy.  Finally, US military and financial power ensured Europe had a secure post World War Two (NATO and the Marshall Plan). The plans for a Fourth Reich (or Empire), is well under way!

What on Earth does the EU need a military force for? These plans will lead to the weakening of NATO and undermine our defences at a time of unprecedented danger. Project fear failed, now punishment is to be used instead, Junkers was right; back to European values: Coercion, suppression of electoral decisions, rule by dictate and collective punishment for the good of the masses, sounds horribly familiar. No wonder they want an Army!

Anthony Brown-Hovelt


Plan together

JOHN King in the Journal article of September 22 is right.

It is high time communities in the Salisbury area started working together on the strategic issues which affect us all.

Salisbury Area Greenspace Partnership was hearing from supporters back in 2012 that the complicated administrative setup put in place when Wiltshire Council went unitary in 2009 was doing us no favours. It is still disabling attempts to consider the broader context when it comes to spatial planning considerations – where to site new development including doctors’ surgeries, housing, employment, schools and so on, and how to ensure that essential (green) infrastructure which crosses administrative boundaries meets our needs going forward.

If we are to grow well, we need to be in a much stronger position to determine how land is best used locally. Where are the safe green routes for people to get to school, to the shops or to work? Which are the really special green spaces, the key views, the important corridors for wildlife? How can we achieve proper gains from new development and make the right planning decisions? How can local people contribute to this process?

The difficulties will continue if there is no cross boundary working. We need to be able to see the bigger picture; we urgently need a local framework for neighbourhood planning purposes, and we need effective ways for the community to get involved.

The sooner there are proper mechanisms in place for the four area boards, Salisbury City Council and the immediately surrounding parishes to start talking to each other and planning ahead, the better.

Nicola Lipscombe

Chairman Salisbury Area Greenspace Partnership

Docs at BHS

I WOULD like to lend my support to P Daniel’s idea in last week’s Postbag – that the old BHS store could be the site of the proposed super surgery.

Clearly, doctors feel that centralisation of health services will help them deliver the best possible care, so it makes sense to locate this central service in this prime area of town.

There would be many additional benefits to this idea: it would be easily accessible to users of public transport and park and ride into town, and drivers could use the adjacent car park – indeed, dedicated spaces could be set aside by the surgery for those with appointments.

Local businesses may benefit too, as the presence of a super sugery in the town centre would very likely increase footfall. Needless to say, job opportunities would arise from contracts offered to refurbish and adapt the BHS building; and employment would surely become available too through the need for maintenance and staffing of this new facility.

All in all, a super surgery in the town centre would be a win-win for many – not least the fauna and flora of Lime Kiln Meadow!

I, like P Daniel, urge the council and all those involved in the planning of the super surgery to think again about its location.

Celia Merwood


Bad grammar

SALISBURY Green Party calls on Wiltshire Council to resist pressure from government to increase and extend the number of grammar schools in Wiltshire. As the head of Ofsted has said there is minimal evidence that grammar schools improve social mobility. The outcome would be to disadvantage the vast majority of children.

All children develop at different rates. Children from poorer backgrounds, though perfectly bright, may have other challenges to deal with before they blossom intellectually. Therefore to decide a person’s future at 11 is wasteful, both of their and the country’s futures.

SGP also rejects the proposal for faith schools to have their admission rules relaxed so that more children can be rejected on religious grounds. The consequence of this would be to increase segregation at a time when it has never been more important to have an education system which is inclusive. SGP believes in integration not segregation.

Only four countries have schools which select on religious grounds – Estonia, Israel, Ireland and the UK.

Michael Pope

Salisbury Green Party Co-ordinator and City Councillor

Traffic issues

ANYBODY who lives in the vicinity of Milford Hill knows that we have to give way to cars either coming up or going down the hill due to the many cars that have to park outside their houses.

I have had many bad experiences here and today was the final straw whilst driving down.

The road was clear when I set off only for somebody to roar up at the last minute.

I had to back up right to the top of the hill and then was met with a torrent of abusive language and hand gestures when the said car passed me.

I think that Milford Hill either has to be made one way or traffic lights installed.

Linda Parker


Help all pupils

MY POINT about grammar schools was that political leaders need to focus on raising educational standards for ALL pupils – not just those who pass the 11+. This is an important subject for debate.

As a local politician representing areas of both wealth and social deprivation, I am particularly concerned to address the problem of helping the children from less affluent backgrounds.

It is far from clear that the current changes to the provision of education in South Wiltshire will result in more children from disadvantaged backgrounds attending grammar school or, most importantly, realising their potential.

That is the crux of the matter.

Paul Sample Liberal Democrat, Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Salisbury

Back in control I WOULD like to respond to the letter “a Brexodus”.

I am fed up with being called a racist, because I voted to leave the EU.

It is not the people I object to, but the policy of free movement.

To my knowledge there has never been any suggestion that the people already here are to be sent back. We just want control of who comes here in the future.

As for our workers’ rights and freedoms, we have those and nothing to do with the EU.

On the contrary the EU has imposed ridiculous restrictions on us, and humiliated us on numerous occasions.

Rachel Reeve Gomeldon Picking up litter WE MET two young women on Cockey Down on Sunday afternoon.

They were carrying several large rubbish bags.

They had seen the litter on the down and taken the initiative to go and pick it up.

I want to thank them for their excellent community service and would encourage all of us who walk the downs, to make their efforts unnecessary by taking our litter home.

Ian McDonald


School legend

YOUR piece about Charlie Plumb, under the “Bygone Salisbury” heading, only told half the story.

I taught at Highbury Avenue Boys’ S-M School from 1964-1974, and throughout that time Charlie was our invaluable caretaker. The boys obviously respected him, especially as he was nearly always accompanied by his big black dog, a sort of retriever. Charlie was a great ally to me – as Music Teacher I was often in school long after everybody else had gone home, and Charlie regularly entrusted the spare set of school keys to me.

The story persisted that Charlie was the last person to take on all comers in a boxing ring at the Fair. I can’t vouch for the truth of this, but it was good for the image.

I know that in later years Charlie’s wife suffered prolonged ill-health. I have the feeling he himself died in his late seventies, which would have been just before the millennium.

Malcolm G Sturgess


  • Editor's note: Charlie Plumb passed away on October 13, 2001. See next week’s Bygone Salisbury for a follow-up on the legendary Charlie.

Aortic troubles

I WAS interested to read of John Greenstreet’s aortic dissection.

I suffered a similar calamity in January, aged 77. As in John’s case, correct diagnosis took some time.

I was whisked off to Southampton for an entirely successful repair.

All that remains is very faint scar and a feeling of weariness. offers a forum for those afflicted.

Terence Parker